FOWP Chairman’s Report AGM 2012

4. Report by Chairman. Compiled by Allan Stobie and delivered by David Guyton.
2012 has been a quiet year, although quite interesting.
The outdoor gym, which the park was awarded under the QE2 scheme has been the main and very successful addition to the park facilities. It is well used and some older people turn up nearly every day in their tracksuits. The other main addition was the ‘Street Art’ project, this has not been well received with most people thinking that it is a waste of money. The installation was part of the original scheme but could not be installed because of a lack of funds, however, when all of the bills were paid it was discovered that nearly enough money was available to commission the sculpture. The balance was found from various sources, when added to the ‘ring-fenced ’ funds, the sculpture was commissioned. A sign is going to be erected describing what the sculpture represents but to date this has not materialised.
Norman,David and myself have continued our quarterly meetings with the Greenspace team and the Park Ranger, the agenda for each meeting is always very similar but, unfortunately due to lack of funds progress has been very slow. Park opening and closing hours, fence repairs,hedge cutting, car park trees, dog laws, cafe and the latest restructuring of the council are always discussed.
The Park opening and closing hours are now posted on the notice boards and apply to all parks in the Council area, they are 0800-2100 BST and 0800-1800 hours GMT. Dog laws have been set by the legal department applying to all parks but are not in accordance with our requirements , we await revised laws for Westminster Park. Hedge cutting has been very haphazard, some have been reduced in height and others have got out of hand. The main problem being that so many different parts of the Council do various jobs that it is very difficult to tie down the right person. 80%-90% of the car park trees are scheduled to be demolished and new ones planted but money or lack of it has reared it’s head again

Brio Leisure CLC was set up 18 months ago by the Council as part of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ drive. Depending who you speak to it is either a way of involving the communities to have more say or it is a way of saving public money.
In Westminster Park they are responsible for the running of the Golf Course and the Cafe neither of which are financially successful. The golf course has numerous problems, people not paying because they can just walk in, flags not in holes and poor tees. The Cafe kitchen has failed it’s Health MOT therefore food cannot be prepared in it. Brio intend employing some wardens to monitor the golf course so hopefully the standard should improve.
We have had various meetings with senior managers in the Council and Brio during the last year. David will give a report on what was said and also what we have suggested to the Council as a means of progressing for the future.
I would like to thank the Committee for their support and ideas over the past year. I would especially like to thank Norman and David for their work on the future of the park and attending the various meetings with the Council. I would also like to thank Jenny for keeping our meagre finances in order.
If anybody wishes to discuss anything that I have dealt with we can deal with this in the general discussion item on the agenda.
Finally I have enjoyed my time as Chairman and I know that David is the best person to lead us forward into the negotiations that will take place over the future plans for the Park.

Membership renewal and AGM

On behalf of the Committee I would like to thank you for your support of the Friends of Westminster Park in the past year.                          

Over the last several years we have  been closely involved in significant efforts to attact new funds from various sources. As a result the facilities in the park have been greatly improved  and  are now widely enjoyed by many sections of the community. We are now entering a new phase where we feel we need  to become more involved in the ongoing planning and management of the park’s resources at a time when Council funding is coming under increased pressure. Exploratory discussions are already underway and we are wanting to explore how we might increase our participation. However, we are aware that whilst we represent a wide cross section of views through our affiliated clubs and residents associations we have perhaps not sought enough input from or provided enough feedback to individual members. We are therefore planning to provide more frequent updates between AGM’s on our discussions with the Council through email contact and invite members views or suggestions in return.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to your contributions in the coming year       

        Norman Trott

The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 21st November 2012 at the Westminster Community Centre commencing at 2000 hours. 

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